Last updateFri, 08 Jul 2016 8am

Chupinaya race on track despite stumble

Ajijic’s double-pronged Chupinaya mountain run is on track for Sunday, July 17 after the promoters surmounted a stumbling block put in their path by the town’s Comunidad Indigena. 

Late last month, members of the indigenous people’s organization voted to deny athletes access to portions of the racing trails situated within the boundaries their communal land, which occupies an extensive area of the steep mountain range overlooking the village. The group reversed the decision at a June 25 assembly after Chupinaya kingpins Ricardo González and Iván Romero capitulated to the demand for a cut of the event’s registration fees. 

The Chupinaya challenge wraps in two contests: the grueling 13.8-kilometer “For Savages Only” route that tops out at 2,400 meters (7,875 feet) above sea level and the gentler 6.5-kilometer recreational course peaking at a slightly lower elevation. Both races start at the Ajijic plaza, following a single loop over cobblestone streets, up into the hills and back again. Racers follow markers and trail guides dispersed along the way to navigate narrow, rocky and muddy trails, creek beds, boulders and abundant summer foliage, as well as several steep segments that require highly technical footwork.  

La Chupinaya is recognized as a pioneer event for Mexico’s increasingly popular mountain racing circuit, and one of the most daunting contests of its type on the world map. Ajijic was selected as host venue for the 2011 and 2014 North American Central American Caribbean (NACAC) Mountain Championships, bringing in top-ranked mountain runners from the United States and Canada.

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